Monday, March 28, 2011

Imran Khan & Former Pakistani Cricketers Rehman Malik Match Fixing Comments on Pakistani Team Is Rubbish

ISLAMABAD: Better known for his verbal faux-pas, Pakistan's interior minister  Rehman Malik warned the country's cricket team on Monday against match-fixing, saying the government would be closely scrutinizing them in the match against  India in Mohali. 

Rehman Malik Said "I gave them a warning yesterday that there should be no match-fixing. I am keeping a close watch. If any such thing happens, we are going to take action," Malik told reporters in Karachi  . 

He described the current cricket team as comprising of clean members but said: "It is necessary to monitor the player because we can't take a chance after what happened in London . I should not have revealed but we keep an eye on people who meet our players, with whom they talk by telephone." 

The International Cricket Council's anti-corruption tribunal punished former Pakistani captain Salman Butt and two fast bowlers, Muhammad Asif and Muhammad Aamer for spot-fixing with lengthy bans from the game in February. The trio's involvement in spot-fixing at Lord's Test last year was shocking for the cricket-loving Pakistani nation.

No one knows about Rehman Malik's managerial role in the affairs of Pakistan Cricket Board, although, he had also some good advice for the players.

"They should concentrate on their practice and must go to bed early. They should ensure discipline and rise up according to their schedule. I advise them to dedicate themselves to the game for Pakistan."

Malik's comments were met with hard hitting response from Pakistani cricket legends. Imran Khan, a Pakistan cricket legend turned politician said, "I am more worried about Malik than the cricket team. For all who might not know, Malik was absconding from justice until very recently."

Khan said the minister does not have a very good command on the English language so he must have meant something else. No one in the Pakistani team will even read that statement. They've much better things to do," Khan said. If one wants to stamp out corruption, the cricket boards and the ICC needs to get more vigilant. He said spot-fixing was a very difficult thing to detect.

Former Pakistani Test player Zaheer Abbas rubbished Malik's remarks, saying it was inappropriate for Malik to make such comments at this time.

"Rather than boosting the morale of the players, the interior minister is trying to demoralize them," he said.

Former Pakistani opener Aamir Sohail said that the minister should have conveyed his message to the team personally rather than saying it on media. "However, there are fears of match-fixing in the semifinal," he remarked. 

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